International architecture competitions broaden the horizons of design by calling on the creativity of architects throughout the world.

In 1956, UNESCO commissioned the International Union of Architects to ensure respect for international standards in the launch and operation of international architecture and urban planning competitions. These standards are laid out in the UNESCO-UIA Regulations that give guidelines for the project brief, procedures, jury composition, winner's compensation, schedule, and publication of results.

The iconic structures in the following list were all realised through international competitions approved by the UIA and carried out under its oversight:

• Sydney Opera House, Australia, Jørn Utzon architect
• Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, France, Renzo Piano, Richard Rodgers architects
• Foreign Affairs Ministry in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Henning Larsen architect
• Tokyo International Forum, Japan, Rafael Viñoly architect
• François Mitterrand Library in Paris, Dominique Perrault, architect
• Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in Alexandria, Egypt, Snøhetta architects

The experience and authority conferred on UIA by UNESCO allows us to serve as a reference in terms of ethics and prestige in the realm of international architecture and urban planning competitions.

The UIA also advises on the organisation of international architectural prizes. Launched by public or private organisms these prizes spotlight specific architectural realisations, materials, technologies, themes, or research.

competitions in progress

31 May 2017 - Registration deadline
Post-human urbanity: A biosynthetic future on Namsan
Registrations are still open for the international ideas competition for students and young designers organized for the 2017 UIA World Congress in Seoul, Korea.
The competition calls for ideas focusing on biosynthetic ecology as a vehicle for urban regeneration, and reflects the Metropolitan Government of Seoul’s new emphasis on building community engagement in sustainable urban regeneration.  Participants are expected to examine Haebangchon, known as “Liberation Village,” a village in Namsan scheduled for conversion to a large urban park.

last results

21 December 2016

The Inspireli Awards were created to assist emerging architectural talents under the age of 35 to launch their careers on an international platform.  The UIA was proud to endorse the 6th edition of the prize.  UIA Region II Vice President Deniz Incedayi  (Turkey) represented the UIA on the jury for this young and dynamic architecture prize.  The Jury, which also included Martin Dudasko (Australia), Michal Postránecký (USA), Ottakar Dvořák (USA), and Oleg Hamann (Czech), met in Prague, Czech Republic on 20 December 2016.


Velux winners
18 November 2016
The winners of the 2016 Edition of the International VELUX Award were announced on Friday, 18 November at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin…